do i care enough to watch the friendly on wednesday without these people

Burned: Arrow 5x15 Review (Fighting Fire with Fire)

So sorry my friends! I have slept. I am medicated. Thus I can write.

Oh Episode 15. You have become the season nemesis. The pebble in our proverbial audience shoe. The yucky chocolate filling in the otherwise yummy chocolate box.

Arrow has begun a tradition over the past three seasons. The 15th episode is filled with a whole lot of suck. I’m excluding 1x15 and 2x15 because I happened to really enjoy those episodes, but 5x15 can go sit in the corner with 3x15 and 4x15. Now, is it Felicity banging Palmer level? 

Or Felicity breaking up with Oliver level? 

Eh. Depends on your perspective. Those were very low lows. Maybe I’ll just leave 5x15 on par with those episodes.

The good news is, 3x15 and 4x15 were a bottoming out of sorts. We said to ourselves, “Arrow can’t get much crappier that this!” and, for the most part, we were right. There was an upswing as Arrow headed into the back half of the season.

Why is it like this? I don’t know. Arrow hits this wall around the 11-15 range almost every single season. There’s a lull and we run into a series of episodes we could seriously do without. 

I don’t think Arrow intends to write a crappy episode. I think they try very hard to make excellent TV every week. The problem is the 23 episode season, and maybe this is why I’m a big “smeh.” I fully expect a third crap, a third good, and a third excellent every season. Typically, that’s what I get. So, I toss this episode into my one third crap pile, grab another bag of chips and write the review.

Cause we gots to talk about why "Fighting Fire with Fire” was a whole lotta suck. We shall address the suck with a copious amounts of gifs, because I’m in. I’m not changing the channel. I’m too invested. You jump I jump Arrow

So, when eps like these come along, I just have to laugh, vent, and have some fun with it. But never fear! I do see rainbows on the horizon. There’s yummy chocolate in this box somewhere. 

Let’s dig in…

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Yuri on Ice interview translation - Pash! 2016/12 (p10-11)

I could finally finish translating the interview with Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuri Katsuki) & Kouki Uchiyama (Yuri Plisetsky) published in the 2016 Dec. issue of Pash!, on pages 10-11. Actually I started translating it last Wednesday (afternoon), but then episode 7 caused me to be brain-dead for the next following days… Not in a negative way, but yeah I’m sure you can understand what I mean @_@

By the way, it wasn’t viewed a lot because when I posted it I had just created a Tumblr account and so for some time it did not show up in any kind of search (tag search included), but I actually translated a similar interview with the same 2 seiyuu from Animage, which you can find here. Normally when interviews with the same people are published in the same period they tend to be similar, but actually these two interviews are quite different and both very interesting to read, so I do suggest that you take a look at that one too. I find myself nodding a lot when reading them, I feel that both Toyonaga and Uchiyama are very much into their roles and what they say about the characters makes a lot of sense to me.

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***
***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***


Toshiyuki Toyonaga & Kouki Uchiyama Cross Talk

Toyonaga-san and Uchiyama-san play the two “Yuri”. In a friendly atmosphere we have asked them about their roles and the relationship between them and also about what they think of each other’s acting.

Yuri starts to develop manliness and Yurio starts feeling nervous.

—First of all, let us know what you think about the character of Yuri Katsuki.

Toyonaga: Yuri-kun is an athlete qualified enough to participate in the GP series, yet he is mentally weak. But I think he has very good technical and acting skills. The fact that he’s a late bloomer is very Japanese in a way.

Uchiyama: While he seems psychologically weak at first, as the story progresses he becomes more manly, like he develops a backbone. We see that he’s not only weak, which makes us understand that he is a person with many different sides to him. He’s 23, which is still young, but in figure skating that’s not necessarily young, and he himself realizes that this might be his last season. Seeing the story through his eyes makes you realize how tough the world of figure skating is.

—What do you think about him finding eros in katsudon?

T: Yeah well I had kind of mixed feelings (LOL). But the way he is always serious about things is cool, and seen from an external point of view it’s also somewhat amusing, and I think this, together with the world created by (Mitsurou) Kubo-san, is one of the selling points of the series. Besides, Yuri-kun chose katsudon, but in the real world too there might be skaters who choose bizarre things as their theme. In this anime we know that he is visualizing katsudon, but if we watched without knowing it we would just normally think that his skating is fascinating or erotic.

—Regarding “Yuri’s manliness” as you mentioned before, in the series there are scenes where he declares love during a press conference, or he suddenly lets out that he wants to be hated as the man who stole Victor from the world.

U: If you asked me whether I could do the same… I’m not sure. Yuri has been living in the high-level figure skating world, so he might perceive things in a different way than us. It’s probably not the first time he deals with the mass media. I don’t think it’s easy to understand the state of mind of someone like him.

T: I kind of understand him in a way. When I was around 23 I also wasn’t very discreet about what I thought, in both a good and a bad way. I remember that I used to speak out loud what I thought and felt without really being careful about it. I didn’t really think about how what I said could shock or affect the people around me. When I recall this I think that indeed Yuri-kun is just 23, he’s pretty young in the end. But I do believe that he must have been under a lot of pressure, both because of his psychological weakness and because he had to face the truth that Victor had become his coach. Maybe that press conference in episode 3 is actually the moment where he became determined to skate with Victor despite all the pressure.

—What about Yurio, then?

U: Yurio is about to advance to the senior tournaments after obtaining very good results in his junior years and being praised as a genius. He has an ambition to make a grand senior debut to show himself to the world.

—The electric guitar BGM that plays when he shows up is quite impressive.

U: Yeah, it’s pretty flashy. There are a lot of scenes where he shows an aggressive behavior… (LOL)

T: He bullied me (LOL).

U: But I think that the gap between his hostile behavior and the moments where you can feel his real age is one of the elements that makes his character interesting.

T: Yurio has kind of a bad temper (LOL).

U: He’s a bit unusual.

T: Personally, I was actually looking forward to seeing how Ucchi would play him. In the end that sharp personality does suit a 15 years old boy. As we can see in some scenes like in episode 3 “Onsen on ICE”, he is also able to acknowledge his own defeat, which means that he’s not just selfish and that at his age he already understands that recognizing when you lost is the key to becoming strong. That’s what makes him a genius, in my opinion. People like him have the qualities of a star, and that’s why other people follow them or are attracted to them. …I envy his popularity! (LOL)

U: (LOL) Well, Yurio is catchy. Including his looks.

—What impression did you (Toyonaga-san) receive from Uchiyama-san’s Yurio?

T: It’s presumptuous for me to say this, but I’ve always thought that Ucchi has a flair for sensing other people’s acting. In this series too, when we discussed with sound director (Youji) Shimizu, director (Sayo) Yamamoto and Kubo-san and it was decided how to flesh out Yurio, he responded right away. Same goes for my Yuri Katsuki. When playing Yuri-kun I decided to make him really “flat”, and I personally had the feeling that both in the recording test and the actual performance Ucchi was adapting his acting to that, like “I see, Tosshi is playing Yuri in a flat way. Then I’ll do this other way (for Yurio)”. I think that’s quite remarkable.

U: I think that in a way Toyonaga-san is a stubborn person, as in he usually has his own idea on how he wants to play something. I’m not really like that, so when someone tells me “please do this way” I don’t have a reason to object and I just change my acting as requested. But when Toyonaga-san is told “please try to do this way”, sometimes if he has a different opinion he will speak what he believes out loud. It’s a different style, but I respect him.

T: I’m not sure which one is better though (LOL). But actually it’s not something that happens so often to me. I can also do like Ucchi, usually. Just that for Yuri Katsuki, I have the feeling that I can’t play him properly if when they tell me how to act I can’t understand the reason Yuri is feeling that way. So it happens that, during recording, we spend time talking Yuri’s lines over. The thing is that if I just do what they ask me without actually being convinced of it I’m worried that it might reflect in my acting, that it won’t sound convincing… Yeah, I guess I am stubborn, indeed! (LOL.)

U: I don’t think that’s a bad thing (LOL). Maybe if there was a better word? “Stubborn” kind of tends to have a negative image.

T: Nah, I think that I really am stubborn. That’s why I’m very envious of your ability to reset all you’ve done until that point and just restart from scratch. I’m not really good at that.

U: Sure thing is that Yuri really speaks a lot in every episode. He’s a perfect example of a protagonist.

T: Kubo-san too told me “sorry that there are so many lines, but actually there’s gonna be even more later on” (LOL). But to be honest, what I found most difficult is not the number of lines but the fact that comedy parts and realistic parts are mixed up. This series has a very fast pace, and sometimes my acting mind can’t keep up with the speed. Like the sudden switch when the mini charas show up, it’s not something that happens very often in other series.

U: When watching it might not feel as fast, but yeah, playing it is quite tough (LOL).

—How do Yuri and Yurio feel about each other?

T: I don’t think Yuri thinks that much about Yurio…

U: He doesn’t look like he cares a lot about him.

T: Yeah, it looks like he doesn’t really think anything. He has stronger feelings regarding the fact that Victor came to his place. Yurio feels that Yuri stole Victor from him so of course he lashes out at him continuously. As for Yuri, he’s like “there’s no point in taking it out on me..”. In the end it’s not like he personally asked Victor to come there.

U: I think that Yurio is profoundly convinced that Victor was supposed to become someone that would greatly influence him, and that he was stolen from him. He is also nervous because he wants to keep up his good results from the junior era and he fears that if he doesn’t start properly he will lose the best period for an athlete. He is also afraid that if Yuri Katsuki blossoms he might become an amazing athlete. It’s for all these reasons that he is determined to pull apart Yuri and Victor. That’s how I picture him when I play him.

Victor is to Yuri the same as Jackie is to Toyonaga-san!?

—What is Victor to Yuri and Yurio?

T: To Yuri I guess he’s basically like a god. He has always admired him. I used to be a big fan of Jackie Chan, I think it’s probably the same.

U: I see. So it’s as if Jackie Chan suddenly showed up at your place and told you “I’m going to teach you action stunts”.

T: …I guess it would be like that. “Eeeh! No, wait, my room is full of your posters!!”. Kind of.

U: Ok, maybe not really the same (LOL).

T: Probably not (LOL). Well, it’s not like I wanted to do stunts like him anyway!

U: You should be an action star of a certain level for it to be the same (LOL).

T: Yeah. I’m not really on the same level as Yuri-kun (LOL). Well I do think that it’s somewhat like that. In the beginning Yuri-kun was probably ecstatic, but after some time he’ll likely get worried of what people start to think about him, considering that Victor is giving up his life as an athlete to coach him. I think he will realize that he cannot keep on just worshipping him like before.

—Who is your favorite character?

T: I like Popovich, absolutely! I really want you to look forward to his spirit (LOL).

U: I’m sure people will love his character. (Wataru) Hatano-san did a good job.

T: Yes! He’s really pitiful, but when you see that from the outside it’s kind of funny! Mind, I’m not talking bad about him, but isn’t it true that sometimes people who are seriously sad, surprised or scared look a bit funny seen from an external point of view?

U: Depending on the point of view the same thing can feel like either a comedy or a tragedy.

T: He’s the perfect embodiment of that. You can completely understand his feelings, but he’s still funny.

U: I like Kenjiro Minami quite a lot. He looks up to Yuri, right? I really liked how he shaked Yuri up when he was feeling embarassed about his past performances.

T: To Minami-kun Yuri was probably the same as what Victor was to Yuri.

—What scenes impressed you?

U: I liked when in episode 1 we see the recollections of Yuri’s life. I thought it was really well done how in such a short amount of time they showed many sides of his past. It had a great impact and I like it a lot.

T: I liked the scene in episode 2 where Yuri hastily hides all the posters in his room and then when he’s in his bed he suddenly realizes how happy and excited he is that Victor is there. I think it’s very much like him. Also, who is that guy, Takao, that Mari neechan was talking about?? (LOL). He just appears for an instant but I can’t help wondering who he is. Also, the night before “Onsen on ICE”, when Yuri goes to Minako-sensei’s place to practice the choreography, and the scene in episode 4 where he sits next to Victor on the beach and they talk, they all fit Yuri’s character and had me impressed.

—Could you tell us some anecdotes about recording?

U: The 3 skate nerd sisters played by (Akiko) Yajima-san are amusing. They are entertaining to watch on the screen as well.

T: Those 3 sisters are funny. They first record the 1st one, then the 2nd and the 3rd, so basically Yajima-san is doing the recording in 3 times. Sometimes the picture just shows the lineart and sometimes it’s just the storyboard, so not even sound director Shimizu understands what line is said by which sister (LOL). But apparently in Yajima-san’s mind they are different and actually she changes her acting slightly for each sister, I think that’s really amazing.

—Lastly, please leave a message for our readers!

T: What is interesting about this series is that the meaning of “growing up” is a bit different than in most others. Yuri-kun already has skills, so it doesn’t really feel like he’s “growing”… more like that Victor is opening doors for him that he wasn’t able to open before. When he’s not performing he still is his usual meek self, so his original personality does not really change, but by being with Victor he’s influenced by him little by little. I think you are all cheering on the GP series of the real world, but in the meantime the GP series in the anime is also getting to its most interesting part and the China tournament is about to end.

U: Yurio is waiting for you in the Russia tournament coming next.

T: Yeah. There will finally be the confrontation with Yurio. Stay tuned to see how they will end up eventually. In the next episode, ep. 7, my favorite guy Popovich is going to show an amazing performance (LOL), enjoy that and the rest of the series too!

U: We are going to see lots of characters with varied personalities, coming from different countries and grown up in different conditions. This series is an original anime, so actually we’re also very excited when doing recordings because not even we know what’s going to happen in the long run. I hope that you can feel the same while watching. Be sure to follow the series until the end!

T: …Actually, I heard how it ends~… from Kubo-san.

U: I don’t think you should have.

T: It’s not how you think! I couldn’t help it… She got drunk at a dinner meeting and just let it slip out (LOL).

U: Don’t make her drink! (LOL)


Sam Wilson’s Accidental Superhero Club

This is sort of a fairly lengthy headcanon that I’ve had for a while but started writing down when people were headcanoning Sam as becoming sort of a therapist for the rest of the Avengers team, or becoming a self-erasing support for Steve or Bucky, where the stories ignore Sam’s own identity and history and use him as a stepping stone in other people’s character arcs or development.  I think people have talked a lot about the problems with that scenario, very intelligently and rightly. 

But for me, I also really want to explore Sam’s personal urge to help people– and to help people in a different way than through superheroics.  He still loves talking to people, reaching out to people, and I think, for Sam, helping other people feel like they’re not alone helps HIM feel like he’s not alone.  I don’t think he’d give that up now that he’s an Avenger– but I do think the way it would manifest itself wouldn’t necessarily involve the Avengers.  In fact, I think one of the great things about Sam is that he’s probably one of the few people on that team– maybe him and Rhodey– who have a good sense of how to balance work and their regular lives, and have a regular life, doing what they want, outside of the Avengers.  And I feel like, when it comes to doing what he wants, for Sam, it would still involve helping people. Just not in the way all these headcanons have suggested.  And in a way that’s about Sam and who I think he is at his core, in the MCU. 

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COLLEGE AU
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5,500+ words

He’s the new guy. Just transferred somewhere from England and didn’t know much about the country let alone the university. It was a small college though so news travels fast especially when an attractive, British boy comes during the middle of the school year.

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